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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Developers are killing the charm

I hear it from people daily: Coconut Grove is changing too much, they say that the development and constant property sales in Center Grove are going to push a lot of people out of the village. I am guessing that in five to 10 years, it will be one of the enclaves where only the very wealthy can afford to live. One major reason is that developers are coming in and buying out whomever will sell. Can you blame people for selling? I don't know. Each sale kills a little bit more of the charm.

I think if someone came to me and offered top dollar I would probably sell and then it would start the chain in my neighborhood where developers come in and take over.

Years ago with the Mercy Project (you can read it all here at "Mercy Project" or "300 Grove Residences") we all had joked in our neighborhood that if the Related Group came in and offered us top dollar to buy the land we live on, which is right next to the Mercy property and on prime waterfront, we would all sell out. And that was almost 10 years ago. Now it seems that everyone is selling. Selling or selling out? It's at the point where people want to leave before the ship sinks because when the new ship arises, it will all be different and not in a good way unless you're into Bal Harbour or Sunny Isles living and I assume you are not or you would be living in those towns now. You know, concrete jungles, rich enclaves, snooty neighbors who don't even know your name, most of them in and out of town for a week at a time, no roots or real quality of life for anyone.

Homes and land are being bought in Village West, but not where you would suspect on Grand Avenue, but more on the outskirts. New homes and townhouses are going in and they are surrounding the main streets like Grand Avenue and little by little as developers move closer to the center, the neighborhood will dramatically change.

Business owners in the Center Grove are all on edge, too, as properties are bought up, no one knows what's next. Some joke about the Grove turning into Mary Brickell Village, but they are not far off, if one or two people manage all the properties in the Grove, who is to say what they will decide to do with the properties?

As the new condos are built on South Bayshore Drive, new money, a lot of money, will be coming in. Good or bad? I do miss our quiet little village. I cringe when I see the construction cranes high above the current buildings, knowing that more buildings are going in, which will be purchased by wealthy foreigners, most just investing in Miami, not caring if it's in Coconut Grove or elsewhere. It's new, it's glass and chrome and it's on the water, that's all they need to know. I don't believe the charm, history and village life means nothing to them.

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Anonymous Kathleen Morris said...

We had chances a long time ago to locals tried and preserve (NCD) along with many other plans, but we belong to the City and well ....
this is a repeating story. Everybody (me too) has always had our own personal vision for the Grove. I have lived here 30 years and well yes lots of changes.. and life is change for better or worse, I think the Grove will always remain the most awesome place in Miami to Live so lets continue to count that blessing.

July 24, 2014 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should not be subject to special interests and crooked politicians (Sarnoff). Let's form a new city within a city. Let's start with that. Let's take control of our neighborhood. Nothing good will come out of having the Miami commissioners and Mayors force these changes on us. The Grove will go to hell in a hand basket.
I would much rather live around snotty people than attract the kind of crowd that has destroyed Brickell, South Beach, etc.

July 24, 2014 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strongly agree with forming city of Coconut Grove sans His Holiness Sarnoff and his little group of greasy palmed cult members.

July 24, 2014 1:37 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

The real Grove can still be found in the back streets, no businesses but full of big trees and old houses,, try West of Tiger Tail, etc, hop on a bike or walk one day, no need to "consume" or purchase anything, except maybe a lemonade after the trip now that the mangoes are mostly gone.

July 24, 2014 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard this argument about the Grove for 40 years. I left in '97. When I drive around I'm astounded at what has been built. And I'm sure some of the people that moved into the new places are now complaining about the grove getting overdeveloped. Coconut Grove was overin 1986. It just took me 10 more years to realize it.

July 24, 2014 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These developers do not live in the Grove and they DONT CARE about the Grove but for their investment to sell over priced condos.

July 25, 2014 11:09 AM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Very good post, and very good comments. ... The Grove is becoming extremely desirable among the wealthy, therefore the atmosphere will certainly move in that direction. ... Though I'm not in that income bracket, I'll probably die here and I'm pretty sure that I'll enjoy the people, the foliage, and the bay until then.

July 25, 2014 8:03 PM  

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